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Judge's Review: 95 Rating - Four Seasons - Autumn '18 by Mother Earth Brew Co.

September, 2018
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
38 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Four Seasons - Autumn '18 by Mother Earth Brew Co. is a Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout brewed with toasted coconut, steel-cut oats and burnt sugar and is being evaluated as a Wood-Aged Beer (2015 BJCP Category 33A) offering according to BJCP guidelines. For this style expect the base beer to gather complexity from its time in the barrel.

Rich, inviting chocolate mixed with sweet oats and coconut emanate from the glass in growing intensity as your nose enters said glass. A thick and creamy beige head sits atop a black beer with soft brown highlights. The head subsists while allowing roasted malt and slightly spicy alcohol through. Initially the first mouthful displays moderately sweet rich chocolate, oats, and brown sugar sweetness with a lightly bitter roasted malt character underneath. Sweet coconut and light hop bitterness round out the flavor and leaves a medium-sweet finish. Full-bodied, medium alcohol warmth and medium carbonation.

Roasted nuts and dark fruits (figs and dates) are the secondary aromatics that hang in there throughout with the coconut; the coconut is subtle but noticeable. As the beer warms the alcohol becomes a drying agent that keeps the malt sweetness mildly in check. The roasted malt character lasts through the long finish as notes of coconut, alcohol, nuts, and dark fruits come and go.

This is a wonderful beer that should hold its own alongside a rich, simple brownie and vanilla ice cream. Alternatively, enjoy a creamy blue cheese and fig spread on crackers as a savory and sweet pairing with this fine beverage.